Every day, we help renters under the age of 25 avoid fees on their rental cars. We also have a whole series of blog posts expounding the virtues of the frequent renter programs offered by the rental car companies (except Payless). However, there's a disconnect -- many drivers would be eligible to rent from a rental car company before being eligible to join the loyalty program! What does that mean? It means that there's no opportunity to earn award days and no opportunity to avoid the rental car counter.
Finding a company to rent cheaply to a renter under the age of 25 is enough of a challenge. Most readers would imagine that a person who is deemed eligible to enter a rental car contract (through some law, policy or waiver) would be eligible to automatically join that same rental car company's loyalty program. Yet that reader would be wrong; adults between the ages of 18 and 20 are only deemed able to agree to the contract terms of a single frequent renter program (unless given a limited waiver as a full-fledged member of USAA eligible to purchase insurance). Curious how the policies are constructed by each rental car company?
Rental Car Policies on Age of Consent
Alamo requires renters to be at least 21 to join the Alamo Insiders program.
Because of the nature of the services offered in the Program, you must be at least twenty-one (21) years old to enroll as a member (upon Alamo's acceptance of such enrollment, you are a "Member" of the Program.) If you are not twenty-one (21), you cannot enroll in the Program.
Avis requires renters to be at least 25 to join the Avis Preferred program.
Eligibility: To be eligible to enter The Program, all participants must meet the following eligibility criteria: (a) be a natural person age 25 or over; and (b) resides in either the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands or Canada; and (c) has not previously been terminated from any Avis Program or otherwise been denied rental opportunities for any reason and (d) submits an Avis Preferred enrollment profile to Avis which is subject to Avis approval.
Budget requires renters to be at least 25 to join the Budget Fast Break program. The age isn't listed in the Terms and Conditions but was verified by contacting Budget's Customer Care "on behalf of my niece".
Dollar allows renters as young as 18 to join the Dollar Express program, although it's rare to find locations where an 18-year-old renter is allowed.
Enterprise requires renters to be at least 21 to join the Enterprise Plus program.
Enterprise Plus membership is available to individuals who are at least twenty-one (21) years of age. Members must adhere to rental age requirements, which may vary by Enterprise and Drive AllianceSM participating location.
Hertz requires renters to be at least 18 to join the Hertz Gold Plus program.
As of January 2019, the minimum age to join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards is 18 and age differential charges may apply.
National requires renters to be at least 21 to join the National Emerald Club program.
Because of the nature of the services offered in the Program, you must be at least twenty-one (21) years old to enroll as a Member. If you are not twenty-one (21) or over, you cannot enroll in the Program, and Administrator will reject your application.
Thrifty requires renters to be at least 21 to join the Thrifty Blue Chip program. The age isn't listed in the Terms and Conditions but was verified by Thrifty.
So What is the Condensed Version?
|Age||Available Loyalty Programs|
|Under 18||None - impossible to rent|
|21||Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty|
|22||Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty|
|23||Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty|
|24||Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty|
|25 and over||All programs|
One Possible Exception
A full-fledged member of USAA? It's possible to join loyalty programs at less than the published age as a component of the USAA contract. So a renter can join Avis Preferred before the age of 25, or Hertz Gold Rewards before the age of 18, which is great for drivers like "my niece". Just like any other enrollment, it's critical for USAA members to correctly record their age, though -- these rental car frequent renter agreements are contracts and the rental car companies don't take kindly to falsified information.
Falsifying Information to Join is Not Recommended
Thinking of falsifying age on the application for a frequent renter club? That's clearly not recommended, as filing false data is fast-tracking one's way to the Do Not Rent list with one's peak driving years still to come! Yet we can definitely say that drivers under the age of 25 should consider avoiding the AvisBudget Group. Avis and Budget won't give any privileges until the age of 25, and Payless is Payless.
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